Mungos mungo Gmelin, 1788
Viverra mungo Gmelin, 1788
- Mungos mungo in Mammal Species of the World.
Wilson, Don E. & Reeder, DeeAnn M. (Editors) 2005. Mammal Species of the World – A Taxonomic and Geographic Reference. Third edition. ISBN 0-8018-8221-4.
Small in size with 10-12 brown transverse stripes on a greyish brown back. Stripes vary in darkness from dark-brown to black. Looks similar to a Meerkat (sp. Suricata suricatta)with a bushy tail. Head relatively long and pointed. Related to weasels, otters and hyenas.
Wide habitat tolerance but not found in desert, semi-desert or rain forest. Preference for forested areas with adequate ground cover.
Highly gregarious and social species that is seen occurring in groups. Troops can number from 5 up to 30 or more. Maintain contact when foraging for food using constant soft tweeting calls. Have a tendency to create shelters in termitaria and home ranges will include several shelters. Size of home range depends on the number of troop members and food demands. Frequent marking using anal gland secretions is performed on rocks logs and in Wildlife Rehabilitation Centers they have been known to mark volunteers feet. Social behavior led by hierarchy with males as the submissive to any female. Encounters between two groups lead to intense conflict sometimes ending in death, however they do not defend territories.
Opportunist. Insects and other invertebrates are main source of food but have also been known to take reptiles, amphibians, birds, carrion and fruit. When eating birds eggs, they're known to throw the egg between the hind legs using the front two paws against a rock or hard surface to break the shell.
Usually 2-6 pups, each weighing about 20 grams are born after a gestation period of about 60 days. The young will suckle from any lactating female in the troop and all adults perform guard duty over the pups. Juveniles begin following the troop about 5 weeks after birth